How many first-time buyers need to rely on their parents? What is the average payment?

How many first-time buyers need to rely on their parents? What is the average payment?

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Since the covid-19 pandemic, house prices in the US have sky-rocketed. At the end of Q1 2020 the average was $322,000, rising to $479,500 by the end of 2022. Prices have reduced slightly since then, but for first-time buyers it is a very daunting market to dip one’s toes in.

Coupled with rising mortgages rates over the last two years, prospective buyers are being forced to rely more and more on family in order to get on the housing ladder. A study from Lance Surety Bonds has revealed the trends behinds what they call “nepo-homebuyers”:

  • 65% of nepo-homebuyers would not have been able to afford their home without their family’s help
  • Buyers without family assistance would have to wait an average of 3 more years to buy a home.
  • Nepo-homeowners have received an average of $20,676 from their family to help with a down payment.
  • Nearly 2 in 3 renters (65%) believe nepo-homebuying is contributing to the current housing market conditions.

Increasingly only Americans with parents who have money to spare can afford to buy a home and this phenomenon is being replicated in other developed economies. In the UK, the amount of people needing parental help has more than doubled to 54%. Nearly 1 in 5 renters believing they’ll never be able to purchase a home,

“Regardless of whether they are receiving assistance from family,” said Hannah Workman, a member of Lance Surety Bonds’ creative team, “prospective homebuyers can be better prepared for a down payment and other associated costs if they prioritize savings and plan ahead so they are ready to act when the market conditions are ideal.”

Why nepo-homeowners is a problem for those who can’t rely on parents

Few would criticise a family for helping out their children financially, but by assisting their children in buying a home, parents contribute to the accumulation of assets within the family. Homeownership has been described a a “Key Driver of Wealth” in the US, meaning the sooner richer families can buy property the richer they will get at the expense of the less well-off still stuck renting.

The transfer of wealth through home purchases creates a cycle of inherited advantage. Families that can afford to assist their children in buying homes are passing down not only the property itself but also the potential for future financial advantages. This leads to the perpetuation of wealth within privileged groups.

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